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Holden Sandman flashback hits the waves

Surf's up: The Holden Sandman will start production in May ahead of deliveries in June, and the car-maker is using the name to sponsor a surf event in Torquay next month.

Commodore-based Holden Sandman goes forward by rewinding the tape to 1974

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Holden logo27 Mar 2015

By NEIL DOWLING

GM HOLDEN has rewound history and revived a brand-name that reflected a more relaxed era, by resurrecting the Sandman for a new generation.

Holden’s clever 1974 marketing of a commercial panel van and ute turned it into a beachside celebration of surfing, a lazy beach lifestyle and freedom.

In 2015 there is no panel van as Holden does not make that body-style anymore, so it is using the Commodore Sportwagon and will offer it as a special edition along with a Commodore ute.

GM Holden product communications manager Mark Flintoff said work on the Sandman edition of the wagon and ute started 18 months ago.

“There was no consideration given to a panel van model,” he said of the potential to replicate the 1970s version and the concept van shown at the Sydney motor show in 2000.

“We don’t have a panel van in our range. The cost to make a panel van as a separate model would have made the vehicle’s final price too prohibitive for most buyers.”

GM Holden will kick off production of the Sandman wagon and ute in May, with a launch date set for June.

The Sandman will attract a $2950 premium over the SV6 or SSV variants, giving the SV6 a starting price of $43,940, plus on-road costs for the Sportwagon and $36,440 for the ute.

Standard equipment includes 20-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, black body highlights, Sandman sunshades and floor mats, while the wagon adds roof racks and a unique build plate.

More innovative are the two options: An orange shag-pile rug for the cargo area and orange sheep-skin seat inserts. Only three paint colours will be available: white, silver and black.

Holden will revisit the 1970s which gave the Sandman its cultural leg up by holding a beachside event at Victoria’s Torquay on April 4 to coincide with the Bells Beach Ripcurl Pro surf competition.

The Holden Sandman surf live site will be at Torquay’s Elephant Walk Reserve from 11am-4pm on the Saturday and will feature a live screen of classic surf reels, music, a sausage sizzle and beach-side games.

GM Holden director of communications Sean Poppitt said the live site allowed people to take a picture with the cars and use the #entersandman hashtag on their social media accounts.

Mr Poppitt said it was the “perfect platform for a car that is sure to evoke old memories and create new ones”.

“The Sandman is the reincarnation of an icon, born from the most iconic car company in Australia,” he said.

“Holden knows Australia and Australians better than any other company and the Sandman is a perfect reflection of the Aussie culture and attitude. I’m sure it will spark great memories for a lot of Australians and help create new memories for others.”

Holden made the Sandman to chase the recreational market from the HQ of 1974 in panel van and ute body styles. It continued through the HJ of 1974, the HX from 1976 and the HZ in 1977.

Holden showed its Sandman concept in 2000 that was based on the VU Commodore.

It was built by Holden, designed by Australian design studio Mambo and made as a single van and a wagon. The project was not continued to production.

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